Julian Burnett, ex John Lewis and Sainsbury’s, joins House of Fraser as Chief Information Officer. He is a permanent replacement for Uday Kotla, who unexpectedly left the department store group in August after only four months in the role. Under his remit, Burnett will continue to develop technology-led solutions alongside House of Fraser’s strategy to expand its multichannel offer. It is hoped his experience in delivering IT strategies will help and enhance their existing multichannel offering. In the interim, Pete Marsden, former Asos Chief Information Officer, has been the retailer’s Chief Information Officer.
In July, the department store group revealed plans for a restructure to make their approach more customer-centric. They banished traditional organisation structures in order to shatter barriers between departments and engage all employees in their customer-centric strategy. They placed their ‘customer insight’ team at the centre of their business. Their customer insight team joins House of Fraser’s brand, CRM, product and multichannel functions. The rest of the company can be broken down into customer journey: ‘awareness and consideration’, brand and creative teams, ‘conversion and loyalty’, trading departments, and ‘advocacy’. The digital product teams sit in all departments. The first phase of their restructure merged its multichannel trading team with its buying department. Their new structure, which also created 12 new roles, is hoped to future-proof their business, better enable the retailer to measure ‘customer lifetime value’ and prepare them for significant long-term growth.